How to show myself off in 5 minutes.
March 13, 2011 11:34 PM   Subscribe

Help jumpstart my creativity for a five-minute long performance piece about ME.

So I have what amounts to a job interview in a couple weeks (for a very public performance oriented job). And as part of the interview, they want candidates to present a 5 minute long prepared 'introduction' piece - it can be done in any way. We can probably use small props, too, anything we can bring ourselves (no multi-media type stuff though). Music, movement, anything that tells them about ME, and shows me off a bit.

So I perform, sing, play some small instruments - but I'm at a total loss. I've started ranty, whiny pieces about my childhood, descriptive hokey stories of fond memories, lists of my favourite things and most embarrassing moments - but nothing feels QUITE RIGHT - and I feel paralyzed by the freedom of the parameters.

Have you ever seen a great little introduction that concisely told you something about a person?
Do you have any ideas for a framework for this kind of thing?
Do you have any creative exercises that might help me get out of my autobiographical rut?

I don't want anyone else to make the piece for me, but I figure someone here might say something that'll set off a spark for me! HALP!
posted by stray to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a webcam? I suggest you make a video right now of just talking about your day, your current gripe. Keep talking. Do 9 minutes. Save it and transcribe it. Monologue!
posted by parmanparman at 11:44 PM on March 13, 2011

This could be risky, and maybe it doesn't fit the parameters of the job you're applying for, but you could try to make the presentation about your interviewers, the audience. Ask them questions, play off that, compare their attributes with yours, talk them up, etc. You wouldn't be saying a whole lot explicitly about yourself, but you'd be implying that you're open and sociable and interested and inclusive. You'd also be showing that you're confident, which is probably the most important thing. And people love to talk about themselves, and to see how they compare to other people. Again, this might be completely inappropriate for the job, but it's one way to go.
posted by doublehappy at 11:55 PM on March 13, 2011

Maybe even do all of the above in song.
posted by doublehappy at 11:57 PM on March 13, 2011

set off a spark for me!

Zach's Oprah Audition.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:50 AM on March 14, 2011

Whilst I must confess a nagging feeling that asking strangers on the internet somehow detracts from the exercise (which is a whole bundle of negativity, so sorry), I would suggest that you make a list of things you like and start from there, and only talk about things positively. Only talk about things you have done or will do, not what you haven't done or won't do or don't like.

If the thing you say about yourself is that you complain, it may negatively impact your chances of getting the job.
posted by Grangousier at 1:52 AM on March 14, 2011

I would bear in mind that this is a job interview, and treat it as if the subject matter for your piece was really "Why you should hire me".

If I had to do this, I'd work it through as follows:

- Understand the "mission" of the organisation, or of the small part of it that you are joining.
- Find some closely related issue that you are passionate about.
- Use your five minutes to explain the issue briefly, explain WHY you are passionate about it and how you hope that working with them will help you to (whatever).

For example: I got my current (software) job by presenting for five minutes about my enthusiasm for good user interface design, which according to the company's website was something they were very committed to.
posted by emilyw at 5:43 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hey Grangousier, I feel ya - I had some doubts posting this myself, but then i figured - I've felt no real moral qualms about asking my friends and mentors for advice with this, so...asking for input from AskMe isn't that much different. It's not as if any of you could create the piece for me (and indeed, while many here have had great ideas, nothing in an of itself is usable without lots of adaptation and input from me - which is as it should be).

Thanks all!
posted by stray at 9:40 AM on March 14, 2011

« Older Where can I read/watch about what a movie theater...   |   Recommend some good texts for a new mechanical... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.